Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.

Posted by:  Jessica Cornelius

Screenshot 2014-04-09 23.41.47

We still had a few more services to go on Easter Sunday a few years ago when one of our most dedicated and amazingly gifted vocalists walked off the stage, took her microphone off, and walked out the door.  She had been serving at Bay Area Fellowship since she was in student ministry.  Something had transpired that left a lot of hurt in its wake and our friend Chynna left her church, her friends and yes, us.  We took it personally, like most pastors do, and grieved over the loss of Chynna and her family.

Over time, God began to work on Chynna’s heart and last year she apologized to Bil and I for harboring hurt and unforgiveness.  It was such a brave act, as well as a humble one.  This Easter, Chynna will be singing her heart out on our stage, exactly 4 years after she walked off of it.  I say this so that you will be encouraged that God does restore relationships (even years later) that you never would have expected.  Not only did God restore Chynna to our church family, he restored her marriage.  When we are obedient, we never know the many lives that it will affect. If Bil and I had chosen to be hardened towards her or make her feel like she wasn’t welcome back, it would have impacted so many lives that God has since brought healing.

I’ve learned the importance of keeping an open heart and mind to those that have left our church.  We, as leaders, need to be humble enough to accept an apology and be brave enough to trust again.  None of us are perfect and with the enemy’s help, unforgiveness can create a stronghold that disrupts the flow of God’s Spirit in our ministries.  The danger zone for any Christian is offense and the enemy would have us destroy one another so that we remain in bondage.

Dented, Not Destroyed.

catepillar Posted by Tiffany Cooper

Don’t discount yourself. Yes, I’m talking to you. Don’t let the “dents” of life convince you that you’re forever damaged with no value. Nothing is final with God. He doesn’t discard us or label us destroyed simply because we have a little damage. In his awesomeness, God has a history of taking our “dents” and using them to fulfill his destiny. Look at his track record:

  • Sarah, who was “dented” with infertility, had a son at the age of 90. God didn’t discount her when others did; he instead miraculously fulfilled his promise.
  • Mary who was “dented” as a young woman who conceived a child out of wedlock fulfilled her destiny as the mother of Jesus. Seriously, the mother of Jesus!
  • Ruth, the woman who was “dented” with the death of her husband later received God’s best when she married Boaz and gave birth to a son.
  • … and so many other examples in the Bible.

Our Biblical sisters endured some really tough stuff. Shattered dreams. Doubt. Betrayal. Loss. Crazy emotions. Can you relate? I can. I’ve been dented by events that made me feel damaged, moments that left me feeling disqualified. Friends, the journey of life and ministry isn’t a straight path, sometimes we get off-course and even crash. But we can’t lose hope! Our future is not over because we had a setback. In fact, it’s that very setback that God may use to impact an individual for his glory. Today, you may be dented a little (or maybe a lot) but you’re not destroyed. God is not through with you!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 12:12

Be encouraged today!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Gold Diggers.

Pastor’s Wives and Women in Ministry, this blog post is for your men. But please go ahead and read it first. (You’re welcome.) gold rush If you recognize these men, then you are familiar with their occupation. They are from Discovery’s show “Gold Rush”. They are gold diggers, if you will. I am so very acquainted with this show because it seems to be a fascination with the Beall men whom I love and adore. However, if I never see it again, I will be overjoyed.

(Joy is at level 10. I would be at level 38.)

These men from the show, most of them married, will leave their wives and children for weeks, sometimes months on end, to search for atomic number 79 and often never see more than a few ounces. (Except for the the time Todd Hoffman claimed they would get 1000 ounces that season. He guaranfreakinteed it.)

So while they may find trace amounts of this precious, malleable metal in the Alaska Klondike, I am here to offer them, and all of you husbands reading, some actual nuggets of advice. Worth way more than any piece of that yellowish-brown commodity that is in such demand. For these juicy, valuable pieces of wisdom will make your wife’s heart soar. Shall we?

1. When giving a compliment to your wife, don’t use the word look or follow the compliment with today or in that dress. For example, “Honey, you look wonderful in that dress” or “Wow, you look pretty today.” Men, what we hear is this: “What? I didn’t look good yesterday? And do I have to have this dress on to look pretty?” Your best bet is to simply say, “You are gorgeous!” Notice the verb tense here. It means now and always. And you might even consider saying it when we have a 7-year old pair of red sweats on while we are wearing a hot pink t-shirt. (Your call.)

2. We want sex.(Did someone turn up the heat?) We really do, but guys, when you are in the mood for some lovin’, please don’t think you can start things at 10:25 pm when you didn’t remember to take the trash to the street or offer to get the kids ready for school or send a sweet text message for no reason, no reason at all and expect a little somethin’ somethin’. Most of us are crock pots, not induction cook tops. We don’t go from cold to boiling in 90 seconds. Nuff said.

3. If you happen to find yourself at home all day with the kids and your wife walks in the door just prior to supper time, please don’t ask, “What’s for dinner?” You are most assuredly going to get a set of rolled eyes thrown your way and maybe even a few choice words. Another option is to actually see what you can make for dinner after she’s been gone or at work while you’ve been home. This could lead to a positive response on #2. (Just sayin’.)

Now, these are just hypothetical situations. I am sure none of this ever happens. I, for one, have no idea if it does or not. I’ve been married for 21 years to the man of my dreams, my hunk of burnin’ love, my Knight in Shining Armor. Well, maybe not armor but at least a nice pair of Buckle jeans.

And y’all have a good day now, ya hear?!

JustONE 2014 – Week Three

Posted by Brandi Wilson

Week 3 of #JustONE2014 kicks off today!

The JustONE Conference is a free virtual conference for all Pastors’ Wives and Women in Ministry. This 3 week conference will include over 15 speakers sharing from their personal lives and leadership. This year the conference is based around Leadership Lessons from Women of the Bible.

Click HERE to watch JustONE at the times listed below.

Week 3: Monday and Tuesday April 7 & 8

10am EST/7am PST
2pm EST/11am PST
7pm EST/4pm PST
10pm EST/7pm PST
2am EST/11pm PST

Lisa Hughes- Senior Pastor’s Wife Church by the Glades, Coral Springs FL – Director of Impact at Leading and Loving It – Jarius’ Daughter – “Raised to a New Life”
Heather Palacios-
 Executive Pastor’s Wife Church by the Glades, Coral Springs FL
Naomi Chong- Church Planter’s Wife Kirkplace Church, Sydney Austraila – Widow Who Gave Last Coin – “Using the Gifts God has Given You”
Susan Thomas- Senior Pastor’s Wife Keystone Church, Dallas TX – Author of Girlfriend Revolution – Miriam – “Goodbye GRUMBLE, Hello GRATEFUL”
Joy Cannis- Production Director’s Wife Buckhead Church, Atlanta GA, Photographer, Writer – Bathsheba – “Persistent Grace”

Go ahead and join us for JustONE! 

 

I’m the Butt…

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
~Romans 12:3-5

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with my life. If I’m completely honest, I haven’t been serving in my “wheelhouse” for months now, if not years. I’m serving in an area that I’m very capable in and even good at, but it doesn’t give me life. It exhausts me.

I’m not trying to complain. I am SO grateful for the privilege to serve God for a living. I really am… I’m just being honest that I’m not serving in my giftedness right now. I’m serving out of a necessity to cover areas of ministry that are being neglected right now. I know this is a season, so I’m hanging in there.

Many of us are hanging in the balance this way. Some of us are filling the gaps for a season because it just needs to happen. And some of us are control freaks who don’t trust others to take care of the area/department/job as well as we would. Today, I want to talk to both sides.

I’ve been both. Simply put, when I first started in ministry 15 years ago, I had everything to prove. I wanted excellence. I wanted everything to be perfect because I believed it was a reflection on me. Now, part of that is good… but most of it is bad. When I “controlled” everything, that meant God was a lot less a part of it than what I really wanted. I was trying to be every member of the body.

How am I supposed to function like an arm or the mouth when I’m actually the butt?

Go ahead… laugh. But let’s be honest. The butt is important. It gets rid of waste and toxins in our body. For those of us who are the butt… we have no business being the arm. That part of the body has a totally different function.

There are times that our body is in crisis. Maybe we need a double or triple bypass. For a short while, a bypass machine is needed. Someone can “cover” in that area… but our bodies are not meant to be cut open and attached to a bypass machine for a long period of time. One cannot stay in the bypass status for forever.

Just like that, we cannot serve/control an area that God has called someone else to. The butt cannot tell the mouth what to do. However… with a healthy body, every part runs as it should. Every part contributes to the health of other parts. And when one part hurts… all parts hurt.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
~Romans 12:6-8

I’m not saying to ignore needs that come to you just because it’s not what you’re called to do. I’m simply saying be aware that the majority of your time is spent serving in how God created you to serve. And most importantly… be thankful for the differences in our body.

Different is beautiful.

What part of the body are you?